There are a number of different drug offences, and if you are found guilty, the likely penalty can vary depending on the exact charge and the quantity of drugs involved.
Drug possession is usually treated as a summary offence, which means it will be dealt with in the local court in front of a magistrate.
In situations where the quantity of drugs found in your possession is considered to be large enough, you may be charged with ‘deemed drug supply’ which may be dealt with in a higher court, in front of a judge.
Are you are facing charges of possession, and asking yourself do I need a drug lawyer?
If you are, the answer is probably yes.
When you are facing criminal charges of any nature, it is highly advisable to engage the services of a lawyer.
If you are in trouble for a drug-related matter, a specialist drug lawyer will have knowledge and experience of this particular area of law, which may give you an advantage over using a more general legal practitioner.
How can a drug lawyer help me?
- After arrest
To prove a drug possession charge, there are a number of things that the prosecution needs to show.
They need to prove that you were in possession of a prohibited drug, and that you knew you had custody or control over the drug.
These factors are not always clear, and an experienced drug lawyer may be able to successfully argue that you were not in possession of an illegal drug or that you had no knowledge of the drug being there.
If you have been arrested for possession of drugs, you may feel under pressure to plead guilty.
It is important that you don’t say anything until you have spoken to a lawyer. If you do decide to plead guilty, in some cases your lawyer may be able to negotiate less serious charges in return (this is called a plea bargain).
- In court
There are also specific responsibilities that police have to adhere to when they are searching a person or their premises for drugs, and if you can show that police didn’t abide by the rules when they found the drugs, you could be able to have the charges against you withdrawn.
A drug lawyer is familiar with these procedures, and will be able to advise you and the court if evidence was obtained without following mandatory police procedures.
A drug lawyer can help you get the most positive outcome for your case even if you are found guilty.
Your lawyer can help you get a less serious sentence by presenting you in a positive light to the magistrate or judge.
This can involve obtaining statements and character references from people who know you, and helping you write a letter of apology expressing your remorse for your actions.
A drugs lawyer will also point out any mitigating circumstances surrounding the offence, and the effect that a criminal conviction or harsh penalty will have on your future and employment prospects.
If you are facing serious penalties for a drug possession charge and you have a drug dependency issue, an experienced drugs lawyer will be able to help you get into a rehabilitation program, which could lead to a more lenient sentence.
If you are facing drug possession charges it is a good idea to seek advice from an experienced drugs lawyer as early as possible.
With the right legal help, you can get the most positive outcome possible from your drugs case and get on with your life.